Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Charlie is a dog that struggles with patience. He is very excitable and when he wants something, he wants it immediately.

Charlie desires nothing more than to please his human owners. He needs to be wherever we are at all times. If he gets left alone in a room of our small 800 square foot house (which we have lovingly dubbed "the castle") he will saunter over to where we are. It is awfully common for him to pitter-patter behind our heals as we move about. His inability to be content while alone can be one of the most infuriating things about him. However, his loyalty is the most endearing.

We have a short, nine foot, space between the back door of the castle and the gate to the back yard. When Charlie spends time outside he is initially thrilled until he realizes that we are not there with him. From the house it is common to hear him pawing at the chain-link fence. The rattling of it, as it jangles back and forth, can be heard through the entire castle. Charlie will impatiently, with increasingly persistence, make the metal fence ring with fierce sound until we come to open the gate and let him re-join us in the house.

Today at work, the internet was maddeningly slow. Waiting for what was probably only minutes seemed several times that. That moment made me realize how impatient I am and how much I take for granted. I remember a day when people tolerated a website taking time to load because that was how the internet worked. Today, a slow connection or peak usage times make me annoyed. I think I have become so accustomed to the quickness of everything around me. If I need to tell someone something I can shoot off a quick text message. When I need to verify something, I can quickly reference Google and find my answer.

I'm not blaming my impatience on technology--although I think our technological lifestyles may contribute to my inability to be patient--because I've always been somewhat restless. By nature, I know that I'm anxiously future-oriented. I always am ready to move on. I'm a planner. When something is not going the way I want it, I want it to be corrected immediately. When a task is completed I move on to what is next. Waiting makes me uneasy.

Embracing the here and now requires a certain calmness. A state of mind. A way of being.

I often wonder how a little patience could improve the livelihood of everyone. Although,we first must learn to be patient with ourselves--our failures, insecurities, dreams, and uncertainties. I'm not sure what that would look like, but I bet it would require a different process for everyone. That inner-patience would probably make us better people. We would listen longer, enough to really understand others. If we first gave ourselves a little credit, we would be more content with not only ourselves but with what we have. We would be more grateful. In turn, we would treat others better because we would be patient enough to have tolerance for those unlike ourselves.

I'm going to work on becoming more patient in all aspects of my life. While working on that goal, I wonder what changes I will experience.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the reminder about patience, Todd. Sometimes when the internet is slow at my work, or we have to wait more than 20 seconds for a Netflix streaming movie to load at home, I also find myself starting to get impatient. It's times like this that I need to be more like your dog Charlie--just happy to be with good people, and always excited for the little things in life.